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Acne scars are a common long term side effect of chronic uncontrolled acne. Scarring results from the destruction of skin tissue from acne infection and often as a response to “picking”, which most acne sufferers find difficult to resist.
Acne scars are always red in the beginning and eventually fade to a normal or near-normal skin color. Fractional Lasers such as MiXto, Fraxel, ActiveFX and others have become the most effective and most tolerable tool in lessening the appearance of acne scars by smoothing the skin.
Some other lasers such as the GentleMax Laser can reduce initial redness faster than simply waiting for the redness to resolve on its own. Patients who want a faster one-time improvement may choose a fully ablative laser such as the Sciton erbium laser, though this does involve a period of downtime and healing.
In some instances, fillers are used to lift the “scar floor” making the scars temporarily less visible. Any and all of these treatments help minimize the psychological effects of living with acne scars. If you have active acne, a control program is extremely important in preventing scarring or preventing the worsening of scars already present.
As both a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Sikorski has the skills and technology available to help you restore your skin to its most improvable appearance.
Some milder forms of acne don't result in a scar, but cystic acne will almost always create some type of permanent scar. Your acne scarring is a result of tissue destruction. The infection that causes inflammation literally kills skin cells and support tissues and destroys that area of skin. It is a cruel reminder of a cruel disease.
Red marks left behind after acne lesions have healed are not really scars at all, but small broken capillaries caused by acne inflammation. Redness can last 6 months or longer if untreated, but eventually fades to normal. At Natural Image OC we can use the GentleMax laser for a quick shortcut to redness reduction.
Some acne sufferers experience brown marks following acne. In this case
Dr. Sikorski may treat you with Cosmelan to reduce and blend pigmented areas on the face. Other options might include topical creams like Azelaic Acid.
First and foremost, nothing will completely clear up acne scars and that is very important for patients to understand. We can provide improvement with laser treatments and minor surgical procedures such as subcision, but to date, there is not a complete remedy for acne scarring. The most realistic treatment goal is to gain visible improvement, accomplished with lasers such as MiXto Fractional Laser or the Sciton Erbium Laser, which smoothes down the area surrounding the depression and helps build up the "shallow" scars by new collagen production so the scars blend better into the surrounding skin.
There are several alternatives for more minimal or temporary improvement. Microdermabrasion, chemical peels or Cosmelan, and dermal fillers such as JUVÉDERM® Injectable Gel can be used as well to help to reduce scar appearance.
Subcision is performed with a special needle that separates the base of the scar from fibrous "roots" that exaggerate the scar's appearance. As mentioned above, in some cases subcision is used to free the scar tissue so it is not pulled inward, allowing it to rise closer to the level of undamaged skin. Although subcision is technically a surgical procedure, in some instances it is the best choice and is quite simple.
Subcision performed first followed by MiXto Laser can produce levels of improvement in scar depth and appearance that a single stand-alone treatment cannot.
Excision involves actually cutting out the scar. The result will be a fine line scar that is flat and much less noticeable than an icepick scar.
Preventing acne scars is a primary goal of early acne control, and the sooner you effectively treat and control your acne, the less risk you have of scarring.
If you suffer from severe acne, the potential for acne scarring is almost a certainty. You may be a candidate for (Accutane (Isotretinoin) if you suffer from Severe and Resistant Acne and Cystic Acne. Dr. Sikorski will assess your acne severity and if deemed necessary and other treatments have failed, may recommend this powerful acne treatment. (The use of this medication requires strict adherence to the FDA-required (I Pledge Program). Photodynamic Therapy is also available for treatment of severe acne.
Not sure where to start? Give us a call and chat with our patient coordinator Michelle. Call the office at (949) 448-0487 or Request a callback through this online form.